Saturday, November 18, 2006

500-Pound Man Experiences Nearly 300-Pound Weight Loss On The Atkins Diet

From 483 to 203, Graham King epitomizes livin' la vida low-carb

The hope and inspiration that comes from reading about amazing low-carb weight loss success stories is invaluable to people who have chosen this way of eating to lose weight and get healthy themselves. That's why I'm pleased to share with you this incredible 280-pound Atkins weight loss success story today straight from across the pond in the UK.

Graham King used to weigh an eye-popping 483 pounds with a 66-inch waist and was so fat he couldn't even drive a car. He even had trouble walking as little as 50 feet without gasping for breath and nearly fainting. He admits his health was rapidly declining and he was a high risk for having a heart attack or stroke, was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes and his blood pressure was off the charts. Then when it came time to weigh him at the doctors office, he was too big and had to go through the "humiliating" experience of being put in a sling to be weighed.

You could say Graham was in desperately bad shape because of his morbid obesity. Like so many of us who allowed our weight to get way up there, Graham grew up around a culture of high-carb foods and encouraged to "clean his plate."

"I had been chubby all my life," he told This Is Hampshire. "My mum used to pile my plate high with home-cooked dinners--big steak and kidney pies with a two or three-inch crust and I wasn't allowed away from the table until I'd cleared my plate."

In addition to these big meals, Graham also loved his sodas and sweets and notes that he was "never told that I couldn't have them." So he got bigger and bigger until one day his mother couldn't buy him clothes in the children's department anymore.

"I had to wear a man's shirt and trousers and there was no school blazer big enough to fit me," he exclaimed.

Because of his enormous size by the time he was in high school weighing in at over 300 pounds, Graham said he "stuck out like a sore thumb" and was pretty much a loner. That likely led him to internalize his pain and depression for another decade as the weight kept piling on. But he was very careful about letting the outside world know what he was doing to himself out of fear for what they would say about him and his eating habits.

"I was eating far too much but I wouldn't eat in public as I knew people would stare at me and think that I shouldn't be eating," he exclaimed. "I would skip breakfast and lunch and then as soon as I got home I would cook a half a bag of family-sized pasta and pour a tin of curry sauce over it."

Predictably, Graham got so big that he now looks at pictures of when he weighed nearly 500 pounds and doesn't know who that man is anymore. Boy, I can certainly relate to that! My wife Christine was looking at some old photos of me when I weighed 410 pounds a few years back and she is still so amazed that the man she is married to today is that same man. This is a powerful way to stay accountable when you start maintaining. That's the power of livin' la vida low-carb, baby!

And Graham knows about that miracle himself because he turned to the Atkins diet to help him lose the weight after a friend of his lost over 100 pounds on it. So he started eating eggs and bacon for breakfast, chicken grilled with cheese and peppers for lunch, and steak and broccoli for supper. When the two weeks of Induction were finished, Graham had dropped 16 pounds, which seemed kind of low for the intial weight loss on the Atkins diet.

My first two weeks resulted in a 20-pound weight loss on my way to losing 180 pounds. My blogging friend Kent Altena, who has also lost 200 pounds on the Atkins diet, says that most people lose about 5-10 percent of their total weight loss during the two weeks of Induction. This isn't a hard and fast rule, but a good gauge of your future success.

Based on his 16-pound weight loss on Atkins during Induction, Graham should have ended up losing 90-160 pounds. But going from 483 down to 217, he went on to lose TWICE that much with his 280-pound weight loss. WOW WOW WOW!

He explained that his weight loss was steady with occasional spurts as high as nine pounds in a week as a result of his newfound low-carb lifestyle and daily workouts at the gym. But taking that first step to begin livin' la vida low-carb for Graham was the better of two options where he had even contemplated committing suicide.

"I had two choices. I either killed myself or did something about it. And luckily I chose to do something."

With the weight loss, at the age of 39 Graham feels like he is ready to find a little romance since he is more confident now and wants to make up for all those years he wasted his life being the posterchild for the fat slob.

"I didn't have any friends or social life," Graham revealed. "I was afraid to go out--I knew what people would think of me."

This took a toll on his love life as he didn't want to have women be embarrassed to be seen with him in public whether they were just friends or dating. So he has completely avoided socializing altogether.

"I felt unattractive too. People at work used to tell me I had a good personality, but it didn't seem enough."

What fat person DOESN'T seem to have a great personality?! Isn't that the euphemism that people come up with to help overweight and obese people feel good about themselves in SOME way? How do you tell someone they have a weight problem that needs to be addressed without hurting their feelings. We've discussed this delicate issue before.

With a new body and a renewed spirit, nothing could stand in Graham's way now, right? Well, there was one little issue he needed to deal with: EXCESS, HANGING, LOOSE SKIN! He was fortunate enough to have the funds to pay for a 6-hour abdominoplasty procedure done in May helping him drop another 14 pounds from his weight to reach his current weight of 203.

I still so badly want this surgery done on my tummy and inner thighs which continue to sag even worse as I have been losing more weight recently. This is still my dream to someday have that taken care of to complete my physical turnaround. It's gonna happen at some point...I gotta keep believin'! When I reach my goal of 199, I will blog again about my loose skin with lots of pictures to show you it isn't just fat, but rather jiggly hanging skin!

Today Graham says he is "a new man" with lots of small quality of life goals that so many of us take for granted.

"I'd like to learn to drive a car now. I've never been able to drive, as I've been too fat to get behind the wheel. I can run for a bus now without panting and, because I'm working out at the gym, I'm getting a six pack for the first time in my life."

Oh, that's so awesome! CONGRATULATIONS Graham King! You inspire me with your vigor and steadfast determination to succeed and continue succeeding not just in weight loss, but in your outlook on life. Keep up the fantastic work!

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Blogger R. Francis said...


Regarding Mr. King's "slow start," bear in mind that he's a type 2 diabetic, and thus insulin resistant -- in his case, I would suppose he was very much so. As a result, not only would he produce high insulin in response to high blood sugar from overconsumption of carbohydrates, but he'd produce even more to try to compensate for the insulin resistance. Now, as you know, high insulin levels are no way to lose weight -- that's a core concept to the low carb life! Consequently, first he needed to improve his insulin sensitivity before his weight loss could really take off.

Fortunately, weight loss itself helps with this, as does exercise, particularly if it's muscle-building, and certain medications such as metformin reportedly do, as well. Nevertheless, it is my belief that highly insulin resistant individuals will see a more gradual result, even at very restrictive carbohydrate levels. This is a subject near and dear, as I have spent nearly three months at what you might consider induction levels or close to it, and I certainly didn't see several pounds of weight loss during the first two weeks. But of course, I'm insulin resistant, although I believe I am starting to make progress in that respect. (Fortunately, for a type 2 diabetic, the rewards of normalized blood sugar are alone enough to make the low carb lifestyle a wonder!)

Anyway, just my thoughts on the subject. A remarkable story to be sure. Thanks for sharing it.


11/18/2006 10:57 PM  
Blogger Jimmy Moore said...

THANKS for sharing your insights, Random!

11/18/2006 11:03 PM  
Blogger Bowulf said...

Awesome job, Graham! That is an amazing story about you getting your life back and seeing what new things you can accomplished. Keep preaching the gospel on how one can achieve the seeming impossible dream.

11/19/2006 8:51 AM  
Blogger Newbirth said...

Awesome story! I love hearing about people succeeding! :)

11/20/2006 12:55 AM  
Blogger Science4u1959 said...

Fantastic... what a wonderful result! Congratulations! I've seen this happen dozens of times, while in the UK some years ago. Atkins also worked wonderfully for some ladies that decided to lose weight using the Atkins nutritional approach. But I can completely imagine what a wonderful, liberating exeperience this must have been for that man. In time, he'll get angry, most likely, with all the stupid, shortsighted critics - because he KNOWS from his own experience how wonderful this WOE works and how healthy it is.

Good for him: knowledge and first-hand experience are powerful weapons against all those lies out there.

11/20/2006 4:45 AM  

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